Subject Matter Competency

California Education Code requires that all candidates for a teaching credential must demonstrate they are proficient in the subject matter area of their intended credential.  Recent action by the Governor and the Legislature on AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021) has expanded the ways in which candidates may demonstrate subject matter proficiency.  


Subject matter competency may be demonstrated through one of the following options: 

  1. Completion of a subject matter program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. At CSULB, we have approved subject matter programs in the areas of Art, English, Health (PDF), Math, Music, Physical Education, Social Science and the World Languages of Italian (PDF), Latin (PDF), French (PDF), German (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).  
  2. Successful completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with the following, as applicable: 
    For single subject credentials, a major in one of the exact subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates.  Degree must be in an academic major that is an exact match to the credential:   
  • Art  

  • English  

  • World Language (in any of the languages for which there is a credential)  

  • Health Science  

  • Mathematics  

  • Music   

  • Physical Education  

  • Science (including Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience or Earth and Space Science, and Physics)  

  • Social Science  


Also acceptable: Applied majors (e.g., Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics) and exact majors in one of the single subject areas that may have additional modifiers (e.g., Biology: Environmental Biology; Art: Art History; and Physical Education: Kinesiology). 

  1. Passage of the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) in the appropriate subject area
  2. Through a coursework evaluation according to the Subject Matter Domains.
  3. Through a combination of coursework and CSET exams that meets or exceeds the subject matter domains. 

Prior to program admission, all candidates will participate in Mandatory Advisement with their subject area faculty advisor. During this advisement session a plan will be made for satisfying subject matter competency if not already completed. Candidates that have not completed subject matter competency at the time of program admission will be considered for provisional admission.  ALL candidates must satisfy subject matter competency prior to student teaching.  

  • Candidates using the CSET exam to satisfy SMC must PASS all subtests and submit official scores with the student teaching application by the appropriate deadline. 

  • Candidates using their degree in an exact subject area must submit unofficial transcripts with their program application showing completion/ conferral of the degree. 

  • Candidates that are using a combination of coursework and CSET exams to satisfy SMC will need to submit proof of coursework evaluation and passing CSET scores for outstanding subtests with the student teaching application by the appropriate deadline. 

  • Candidates that complete a CTC approved subject matter program at an institution other than CSULB, must submit an official subject matter verification letter with your Program Application. 

  • Candidates that are completing the CSULB subject matter program may have coursework in progress at the time of the Student Teaching Application however, all coursework must be completed PRIOR to the beginning of the student teaching semester.  

Candidates that are currently in the program, are enrolled in EDSS 300 or are planning to pursue the Single Subject Credential Program at CSULB should consult the Single Subject Faculty Advisor in their subject area for all questions related to subject matter competency. 

CSULB will provide subject matter evaluations to review transcripts for candidates that are not planning to complete their credential program at CSULB for a fee of $50. CSULB Single Subject Faculty will evaluate transcripts for the CTC approved Subject Matter Preparation Program and also for the CSULB Subject Matter Domains. Candidates will be notified if their coursework meets all or part of the subject matter competency requirement for the specific subject area. CSULB evaluates transcripts for the areas listed below:  

  • Art
  • English  
  • Health Science 
  • Math
  • Music  
  • Physical Education
  • Biology  
  • Chemistry 
  • Physics 
  • Foundational Science 
  • Social Science 
  • World Languages (ASL, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish, Vietnamese) 

To request an evaluation, print out and complete the Subject Matter Waiver Evaluation Request form and deliver it or mail it to the Teacher Preparation Advising Center (EED-67) at the address below along with the $50 evaluation fee (cash or money order only) and transcritps (unofficial copies ok) from every institution attended. Evaluations typically take 6-8 weeks to complete. Candidates that meet subject matter will receive an official subject matter verification via DocuSign. Candidates that do not meet the subject matter requirements will receive an email with information on what is needed to meet the requirement. 

Mailing Address: 

CSU Long Beach 
Teacher Preparation Advising Center 
1250 Bellflower Blvd. EED-67 
Long Beach, CA 90840-2201 

Please note - If you will not be completing a CSULB Credential Program, the acceptance of the CSULB domain evaluation and verification is solely at the discretion of your Preliminary Credential Program Sponsor. Candidates are encouraged to speak to their program sponsor prior to requesting a CSULB evaluation.